Lukashenko Arrests Wagner Mercenaries Near Minsk

  • Minsk was used by Wagner as a transit point for transporting fighters to other countries, mostly African.
  • "The detention of soldiers of the Wagner PMC near Minsk may be a provocation for the deterioration of Russian-Belarusian relations"
  • Many believe Wagner operates as the Kremlin's proxy.

The current President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, announced the arrest of Wagner Group mercenaries near Minsk. Interestingly, Minsk was used by Wagner as a transport hub in the period of the Coronavirus pandemic closures. This information became available to the WarGonzo project from the Russian Special Forces sources.

The Wagner Group is a Russian paramilitary organization. Some have described it as a private military company (or a private military contracting agency), whose contractors have reportedly taken part in various conflicts, including operations in the Syrian Civil War on the side of the Syrian government as well as, from 2014 until 2015, in the War in Donbass in Ukraine aiding the separatist forces of the self-declared Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics.

The Wagner Group is an unofficial armed formation that was founded by Dmitry Utkin, a former commander of the GRU special forces unit of the Russian Defense Ministry. Utkin himself was previously part of the Moran Security Group (protection of sea vessels), then in the “Slavic corps” (protection of Bashar al – Assad in Syria).

He then decided to establish his own division, which was named after his call sign, Wagner. From a legal point of view, the Wagner PMC does not exist and cannot exist.  The current Criminal Code of the Russian Federation contains Article 359, which is  participation in illegal armed formations.

Article 359:

Recruitment, training, financing, or any other material provision of a mercenary, and also the use of him in an armed conflict or hostilities, shall be punishable by deprivation of liberty for a term of four to eight years.

Minsk was used by Wagner as a transit point for transporting fighters to other countries, mostly African. The claim is that Belarusian Special Forces are informed and warned in advance, and in fact provided a quiet process during the pandemic of transferring our soldiers to the Eastern fronts. The Coronovirus regime between Belarus and other countries does not have as many restrictions, including fewer sanctions and ease of travel.

According to the first Deputy Chairman of the Russian State Duma Committee on the CIS Affairs and Relations, Konstantin Zatulin, “the detention of soldiers of the Wagner PMC near Minsk may be a provocation for the deterioration of Russian-Belarusian relations”

Presidential elections will be held in Belarus on 9 August 2020. Long-term president Alexander Lukashenko has announced he will run for a sixth term in office, having won every presidential election since independence in 1991, and is heavily-favored to win again.

Furthermore, there is another version with the plausible explanation that they were on vacation in a sanatorium, and have a right to exist. In Sochi, there is a sanatorium “Belarus,” which now belongs to Lukashenko.

Due to the Coronavirus, a majority of borders are still closed. Hence, a majority of Russians are spending their holidays within Russia or the neighboring nations. It should be noted that Belarus never closed its borders, and the quarantine was never implemented.

However, Lukashenko completely destroyed the relations with Russia. Many believe Wagner operates as the Kremlin’s proxy. Therefore, is Lukashenko going paranoid and desparate?

He already put both of the opposition candidates in jail. They are banned from running in the upcoming presidential election on August 9. There are also claims that Russia is orchestrating “Maidan” in Belarus.

Additionally, Putin does not forgive or forget. Belarus is on thin ice, and it is highly likely Lukashenko won’t be re-elected. He might have to watch his back for the rest of his life. The events will get even more heated in the next 2 weeks.

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Christina Kitova

I spent most of my professional life in finance, insurance risk management litigation.

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